Galicia and the Ortigueira Festival

So, last week we took a little trip. Our weekend destination was Ortigueira, a relatively small town near the northern Galician coast, where there is a folk music festival each year. It’s sort of a hike (5 hours by car), so C wanted to take advantage of it – he has clients coming in November who basically want to experience part of the Camino by car, and he wanted to go back and visit some of the things we couldn’t/didn’t see while we were on the Camino.

So. We left Tuesday. Approximately 600 kilometers, two dozen castles/churches/ruins, and three days later, we arrived in Ortigueira.  Let me just say a couple things here. One, the Camino is just not the same by car. In fact, I didn’t like it. It made me feel lazy, and seeing the things we saw when we were walking, but from a car window? Just not the same. Two. While there are some stunning churches and castles in this country, there are some that are just flat out boring. I have come to the conclusion that if it is beautiful from the outside, you should stay outside and enjoy the view. 🙂

I did truly appreciate how the landscape changes though. In May and June we saw lush, green rolling hills and pink and purple flowers everywhere, but these are equally as beautiful.

The new part of our trip included the drive from Finesterre to Muxia, another popular ending point for the Camino. Very different, but very pretty. I felt bad taking pictures there (yeah, I know, that’s ridiculous…) so I didn’t, and just told myself I’d snap some next time when I arrived by foot.

We did stop here though. If only I could remember what it was called.

You can barely see it, but there were people repelling down the waterfall. That’s for next time too.

ANYhoo. We got into Ortigueira on Thursday night when the festival started. Basically, there were four groups that played each night, beginning at ten and ending as late as 4:30…from all over (Spain, Ireland, Scotland, etc.) and all a little different. And during the days, there were like forty-five dozen bagpipe bands performing in the streets (I enjoy the bagpipe, I do, but eventually they all sorta sound the same to my apparently untrained ear), and vendors selling food and crafts and jewelry and all that. The audience was mixed, but it leaned heavily on the hippy-dippy crowd. Here are a few shots.

This is a Japanese group called Harmonica Creams (yeah I dunno). They were AWEsome.

Our other friends arrived on Friday, and Eva cooked percebes…they are scrumdillyumptious, but I am sparing everyone the close up shot because last time I posted one I got a sea of “ewwwww WTF are those?”

It was raining so we bought hats. Okay. No, that’s not why we bought them. But it was raining.

This made me giggle. In between bands, there was a group of bagpipers just sort of jammin and this guy leaps in the middle to do the running man. Apparently RMUI (Running Man Under the Influence) is universal.

This also cracked me up. There is a drink here called a Calimocho, it is red wine mixed with coke/pepsi. I realize it sounds gross, but it’s actually not that bad, and it’s VERY popular with the 20-somethings. Usually they make it with lower end wine because the soda masks the flavor, so it doesn’t matter…but here, it’s good to know they are making them with “wine of quality.” In a box. Snort.

We did squeeze in a wee bit of beach time, and leaving the festival on Monday also made a few stops at some stunning places along the coast.

Where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Cantabrian Sea.

Some more Galician coastline.

Playa de los Catedrales. A beautiful beach, lined by those big walls of rock which are filled with natural caves and arches. This is at about 9:00pm.

A slightly different view. You can see the caves, etc. a little better here…I have more close-up shots of some of them, but as usual, my lack of skill in the photo lighting department is evident. Oh well.

Approaching sunset.

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One Response to Galicia and the Ortigueira Festival

  1. Maureen says:

    Calimocho was Ashley’s pregaming drink when she was in Bilboa. She had me try it, I thought it was dreadful!

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